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Curling community grieves after Saskatchewan lead Aly Jenkins' death

SASKATOON — Saskatchewan's curling community is in mourning after the sudden death of a prominent lead.

Aly Jenkins, a member of Sherry Anderson's rink, died Sunday during childbirth. Jenkins was 30.

Her husband Scott told 650 CKOM in an interview Tuesday that everything was fine when they arrived at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital, but during labour Aly began feeling cold. Doctors determined amniotic fluid had entered her blood stream, setting off a rare amniotic fluid embolism.

Scott Jenkins said Aly fought for five hours, with doctors trying save her, before her heart gave out.

"She was the rock, she loved everybody," Jenkins said of his wife.

"You come in to have your baby, you expect to leave with your wife at the most."

The baby girl, named Sydney, was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit after birth in critical condition and was provided with breathing assistance due to complications.

Jenkins said a doctor shared with him a bittersweet detail about his third child's health after Aly had died.

"She said 'I don't know if this is the right time to tell, but I hope you find some comfort in this. I look back and when your wife passed, your daughter started to improve,'" Jenkins recalled.

Sunday's tragic day marked Scott Jenkins' 31st birthday. He said they had been looking forward to him sharing the same birthday as his daughter, but now the date will be tied to the loss of Aly.

Aly had been looking forward to having her third child and starting a regimen to get back in shape, so she could rejoin Sherry Anderson's rink and start building toward a run to the national championship

"She was upset this year because she was going to be on mat leave, that she couldn't get back to curl with the team," Jenkins said.

He said he's already had to speak with his four-year-old son about their mother's death. The couple also has an 18-month-old daughter.

Jenkins is struggling with the thought that the children likely won't have clear memories of their mom.

"It just drives me crazy," he said. "They're just so young, they won't remember her."

Team Sherry Anderson posted to Facebook about how the rink was devastated to learn of their lead's death.

"Aly was such a strong and determined woman in everything she did!" the statement said. "She was so full of life, always had a joke to crack, such a compassionate woman and a true competitor on and off the ice. She loved this game we play with all her heart!"

Anderson joined a team with Jenkins last season after going to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts with a different team in 2018.

(CKOM)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2019.

CKOM, The Canadian Press